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December 2, 2010

CDH Takes to the Skies

Steff, Tr00 Metal Life

Last weekend, CDH and I spent a fun day on the beach at Kariotahi, near Waiuku with the fine folks of SkyWings – a local paragliding school.

I’ve been interested in paragliding since my folks brought me a tandem glide off Te Mata peak in Hawke’s Bay (where I grew up) for my 13th birthday. We happened to see a glider on one of those rare moments we were watching TV and I said “We should do that!” and, to my utter surprise, CDH said “Hell yes!”

We spent the day at the beach, me chilling out by the surf waiting for my turn on the tandem and CDH learning to glide. He spent the first half of the morning waddling around with the “baby-wing” – a small kite that allows him to practice ground-handling. Then they strung him up on a string like a kite and he fluttered around a little. Then he ran off the cliff for his first (and second) solo glide.

Unfortunately, because apparently one is not allowed to glide if one is not allowed to drive (this is carefully worded, as I CAN drive. I’m just not legally allowed to. You’ll hear more about my driving escapades in an upcoming Achromatopsia column) I am not allowed to learn to fly. Which means CDH will be completing a few courses and getting a Tandem license, and then, one day, we’ll be able to glide together.

One of the pilots, Ed, took me on a tandem up and down the beach. Paragliding isn’t what you’d expect – it’s not heart-stopping exhilarating, vein-throbbing adrenaline. It’s quite gentle and calm. Pleasent. If you think of those slow-motion camera pans across the scenery they did all through Lord of the Rings? Well, it’s like that, except you’re the camera.

No photos of me, boo, because we ended up flying at the same time, but I got a few of CDH to show you (and a video).

skywings-paragliding

http://nzparagliding.com/

Hopping around during groundwork

Soundtrack for the day – the Arise album by Rebellion (this is AWESOME), Helloween – Eagle Fly Free, Ozzy Osbourne – Flying High Again, Mezarkabul – Fly Forever, Manowar – Heart of Steel, Saxon – Flying on the Edge.

http://nzparagliding.com/

I can’t get the video to embed for some reason, but you can watch it here if you’re interested,

What sports / extreme activities are you into? Also, what are some more great theme-songs for paragliding?